Fighting a Problem with Charity: Interview with Drogith of the New England SC2 League

Written by WellPlayed
Dec 21 2011, 10:41 AM EST

Fighting a Problem with Charity: Interview with Drogith of the New England SC2 League

In the spirit of December, which for most of the world is a time to be charitable and help others in need. WellPlayed had a chance to interview Patrick Buckley, also known as Drogith in the eSports community, who is owner and organizer of the New England SC2 League. Recently Drogith discovered that his alcohol consumption had been affecting his attitude and other facets of both his online and personal life and decided to take action to remedy the problem. Alongside his own quest, he has taken it upon himself to openly bring up the issue in the eSports community by streaming for charity throughout the month of December and giving the proceeds to Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholism is a battle that many people have either faced themselves or had family members and friends struggle to cope with on a daily basis. The one thing everyone needs in their battle is support, and this is a great way to start.

WellPlayed: Could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into the eSports scene?

Patrick Buckley: I was raised a poor black child on the streets of Detroit. Oh wait, that was Vanilla Ice. Now that I've dated myself, my name is Patrick Buckley and I'm currently living in NH with my wife and 4yr old daughter. I'm also an avid gamer and a veteran of the war in Iraq. For a full time job, I work in engineering for a medical research and development company in Massachusetts, which is quite ironic seeing how I never finished my engineering degree.

I started getting into eSports just over a year ago when SC2 was in beta. I had started doing casting as a way to improve my own game play and even started casting some local tournaments at LAN centers. The concept of a New England league was thrown out and the community supported it fully at each event it was brought up. However, the person trying to organize it ended up disappearing and to keep the dream from falling apart, I picked up the ball and have been running with it ever since.

WP: How did you decide/what prompted you to begin your charity streaming and why AA?

PB: There has always been a history of alcoholism in my own family, so there was always the risk of becoming an alcoholic myself. And, well, it happened. I was driving to work one morning when a radio ad came on about a "new pill to help quit drinking" and I could relate specifically with one of the symptoms; "Are you hiding your drinking from others?" I was, in fact, going out and buying cases/packs of beer, drinking them in one night, and then hiding the evidence from my wife. I decided I would go to AA to look for help instead of taking a magic pill.

After listening to stories at my first meeting and speaking with some people at AA, I could see how effective it was at helping people that really needed it get sober. Even people that don't have the most severe cases of alcoholism or had families affected by it could go and get better, one day at a time.

Now, I didn't know this, but programs like this rely on donations from the community. After seeing the results from other people, and how programs like AA have helped them fix their lives, I knew that I could do something to help and raising money through streaming was an obvious choice for me.

WP: What do you hope to accomplish by confronting the issue of addiction in the eSports community?

PB: I really hope to help myself, as well as others, by confronting this problem head on. Almost every family in the world is effected by alcoholism in one way or another. Be it a relative, a parent, a child, even a spouse or friend, all walks of life can relate in some way. By leading by example, I'm also hoping that others may notice that they, or someone they know, may have a problem similar to mine and you know what, they aren't alone. You're not alone.

WP: Do you see yourself continuing charity type events beyond this one?

PB: I've been enjoying doing this charity event, I just wish I had planned it all out properly. I would love to do more in the future, but I'd like to properly plan one in the future. The timing for this charity event times so well with my own addiction.

WP: Do you have any advice to other gamers out there who think they might need some sort of help?

PB: You are not alone and there is help out there. All you have to do is pick up a phone or start walking. Even if it is to a friends house or a Skype call, just recognizing you have a problem that you want to fix already has you going in the right direction. You're not alone.

WP: Besides charity events, what else do you have in store in the future for the SC2 community?

PB: I am just about to start season 3 of the New England SC2 league. We've had 2 strong seasons so far with fantastic sponsors like Kingston Hyper X, Cooler Master, and NZXT helping us along the way. This next season will be online with the finals on-site, so I'm hoping to have another stellar season.

I am also working on a North American Semi-Pro League for the US and Canada. Right now, there is no consistent middle step to go from amateur gamer to pro gamer. I plan on making the semi-pro league that middle step. I've already started cementing the format and gathering sponsors to reduce or eliminate the cost on players themselves($15/tournament). Now what I need is commentators, tournament organizers/admins and producers to help run the show in each of the 8 regions. It's a big task and I can't do it alone. Plus, it will give some exposure to maybe a lesser known group of people that really want to get involved in eSports, but don't know how.

WP: Any closing thoughts for the readers?

PB: I'd really like to thank my friends who have supported me since I announced I had a problem with alcohol and was looking for help. col.Ryan, gcRakura, and Kikka are only a few of the names that have really made me appreciate being apart of this community. I'd also like to thank for doing this interview and helping me to raise some money by bringing attention to the charity event.

I'm not taking donations of money, just your time. Through the month of December, weekdays from 9p to ~11p EST, I'll be streaming various games with some friends. All revenue gained form the commercials run will be going directly Alcoholics Anonymous.

You can do your part to help Drogith raise money for Alcoholics Anonymous by watching him stream nightly after 9PM EST on his NESC2 Channel and following him on Twitter at @NESC2League. WellPlayed has also decided to help increase his charitable donation by matching his stream earnings for the month up to $50.00!